By Sasha Tsutserov —
My parents were members of the Communist Party. They never spoke of God or the Bible. However, when I was five years old, my grandmother insisted that I be baptized in the Orthodox Church. This was all done in secret—miles outside of Moscow, inside a dimly lit sanctuary. Although I was young, the Holy Spirit touched a hidden yearning in my heart for spiritual reality.
Russia had lost virtually all traces of Christianity during 70 years of Communist captivity. Her legacy to me was one of atheism. I became a member of the Communist Party and secured a position in the KGB. I had a beautiful wife, Natasha; a precious daughter, Julia; good friends; a bright future; and all that I dreamed of as a young man.
Julia befriended an American girl whose father was a missionary in Moscow.
Soon after, Natasha became their private Russian language tutor. As the head of
my home and a KGB agent, I felt obligated to investigate these foreigners who
had made such an impact on my family. I was awestruck by the humanitarian
aid distributed by their church. And I was irresistibly drawn to their joy for life,
for each other and for the Lord. Step by step, I began to realize their generosity
and joy stemmed from their love for God. At first, I gave God a 50/50 chance:
since no one could prove God’s existence, then no one could deny Him either.
I stepped away from my aggressively atheistic realm. Then, while praying at one
of the church retreats, I had a vision. I saw God standing on the top of a mountain.
I felt I was a jar of clay. God was pouring down pure gold of the Holy Spirit
right inside of the jar—me. From that moment on, I needed no evidence of God’s
existence, for I knew God in Jesus Christ.
I returned home that day. Natasha met me at the door and asked, “What’s wrong with you?” I said, “What do you mean, honey?” She said, “You are smiling!” You see, I had never smiled before. But that day, Jesus made me smile. Now, my smile gave me away. I admitted that I had become a Christian. She, in turn, confessed to me that she had become a Christian even earlier than I did, but she had been scared to tell me, a KGB agent!
In July 1993, I was baptized and openly proclaimed my faith in Jesus Christ.
I soon realized I could not keep both my faith and my job, so I quit working
for the KGB. We, as a part of a team of 10 converts, then planted a church in
Moscow. I knew God had called me to a ministry in education. But there was no
school in Russia offering a degree in biblical studies because the Communists
had prohibited theological training. Therefore, I had to study abroad. In
1997, I graduated from Asbury in Wilmore, Kentucky, with a master of
divinity degree, and in 2004, I earned a Ph.D. in New Testament at
Today, I serve as director and professor of the Moscow seminary.
We are raising a new generation of Christian leaders from
scratch. I now have realized a new dream. Not the dream I sought
as a young man; that dream did not include God. But the dream
of you and me, together, training men and women to evangelize
the lost and to plant churches across Russia and the former Soviet
Union! — One Mission Society, Outreach Magazine
If you want to know God personally, go here